The universe ripped me off!

Yesterday, Dr. Matthew Francis (of the very interesting and worth-checking-out physics blog Galileo’s Pendulum) pointed me to NASA’s astronomy picture of the day, Arp 272, which consists of two colliding galaxies (center and upper right) with a third likely interacting galaxy (upper left).  The trio lies some 450 million light years away from us, and the picture is perhaps 150 thousand light years across:

In addition to being an awesome astronomical phenomenon, the picture is quite reminiscent of something very familiar to me.  Not sure what I’m talking about?  Check out my avatar icon, which I made from scratch and have been using since 2007:

Clearly, the universe has ripped me off!  Now I need to figure out how to sue the universe for copyright infringement…

This isn’t the first physics “look alike” for my avatar.  Some time ago, @scimomof2 sent me the following:

This is an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image.

These are some great examples of pareidolia, in which one imagines significant patterns in essentially random phenomena.  Seeing images in clouds is a classic example of pareidolia, though I wouldn’t use my own cloud-watching as a “normal” case.

This entry was posted in ... the Hell?, General science, Silliness. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The universe ripped me off!

  1. Damon Diehl says:

    OK, first, that’s eerie. Second, I think you’re 450 million years too late to file a copyright infringement case.

  2. The universe always wins “prior art” claims. I’m glad you enjoyed the pic, and thanks for linking to my blog!

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